Chapter Four

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Benjamin paced around the room

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Benjamin paced around the room.

"Where would you go?" he said to no one, the room was empty, just him and Clara's belongings.

"If she is dressed as a man, she did not go to her family."

He fought the icy chill that tried to take hold. "No time for fear. Think! Damn you! Think!"

This was not her first time attempting this, which was most likely why she had the confidence her plan would succeed. Benjamin remembered the first time he caught her dressing in clothing belonging to his gender.

It was the first time they had met. She was a young, inexperienced sixteen. He had been in the middle of a card came with Beau and a few other gentlemen, when a young boy caught his eye.

Benjamin watched as the boy hung back in the shadows. At first Benjamin thought the boy must be a servant to one of gentleman in the club. However, he seemed to be wandering around rather aimlessly. The boy's eyes darted about the room as if looking for something or someone.

What was he looking for? Benjamin wondered.

Beau complained about his lack of attention as it was now his turn. Benjamin looked back to his cards but then looked up again seeking out the boy only he had disappeared. This immediately brought out the guard in him. He folded his hand and excused himself from the table.

Benjamin walked through Boodle's until he found the boy again. Hanging outside a doorway where a few of the more prominent members of the club were enjoying the company of some female companions. Boodle's was an all male club, but unlike White's where women are never allowed, here some entered as guests.

He snuck up easily on the boy who was engrossed, jotting way furiously, whatever notes he was taking. He grabbed his arm and spun him around. The note pad and graphite dropping to the floor, with a rather loud clatter.

Benjamin took a moment to be certain no one was disturbed. As no one was, he glowered down at the now anxious looking boy, with beautiful eyes. Wait... where did that thought...

The boy, stomped on his foot, causing a stream of obscenities to cross his lips, capitalized on his moment's hesitation, but his escape did not last long as Benjamin was a well-trained member of the Dragoon's and again he had the boy in his grasp.

"You will pay for that whelp!"

Again the boy threw caution to the wind and took a wild swing.

His movements are sloppy for a spy, Benjamin thought, easily ducking the blow.

He grabbed the boy by the shoulders and shook him hard. The boy's cap had fallen and with it a cascade of near ebony hair.

Whoever she was, she was stunning and took the breath right from his lungs.

This time she easily broke free, taking only a brief pause to snatch up her hat and ran for the door. Benjamin shook his head to clear the daze and pursued but as he hit the street she somehow managed to disappear, completely. She must have had her escape route well planned.

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